Seven new VA medical centers (VAMCs) throughout the country have joined the VHA Innovators Network (iNET) to expand the web of VHA employees impacting Veteran care through innovation. By empowering employees to design their own innovative solutions for problems they experience firsthand, as well as fostering a VHA-wide culture of innovation through education in innovation-related principles, iNET delivers innovative solutions to challenges that Veterans are facing today.
The Orlando VA Healthcare System (HCS), Sheridan VAMC, Charlie Norwood VAMC, San Francisco HCS, Durham VA HCS, VA Greater Los Angeles HCS, and VA Eastern Colorado HCS will join 32 previously established iNET sites around the country to approach and solve problems differently. Employees will receive world-class training on how to build, test, iterate, grow, market, pivot and spread their innovative ideas.
“As a complex health care system well on its way in our journey for high reliability, the Durham VA Health Care System is dependent on an engaged workforce that is continuously improving our processes and systems in new ways,” said Durham VA HCS Director Paul Crews. “Becoming a part of iNET fosters innovation mindfulness across our workforce and shows leadership engagement in out-of-the-box problem solving.”
These new sites will not only become part of a network of engaged and empowered employees and leaders, but they will also have access to participate in the Spark-Seed-Spread Innovation Investment Program and Innovation Accelerator Program; frequently collaborate with other VHA Innovation Ecosystem portfolios; demo innovations at the VHA Innovation Experience; easily access VHA senior leadership for input; and explore external innovation collaboration opportunities through iNET’s Greenhouse Initiative.
Since launching in 2015, iNET has designed and supported innovations like VEText, PRIDE for all Who Served, 3D printing, and virtual reality treatments. It’s helped employee innovators like Sammie-award winner Dr. Beth Ripley, 2019 Investee of the Year Kristina Snell, VHA IE Fellow Dr. Ravi Rasalingam, 2020 Investee of the Year Terri Ohlinger, and many more.
“iNET’s mission is twofold,” said Allison Amrhein, Director of Operations for iNET. “Our purpose is to support the development of both the innovative solutions designed by VHA employees and the innovators themselves. We couldn’t be more excited to continue to support employee innovation through this expansion of our network.”
Learn more about iNET and the 600+ employees who have participated in its programs and over 1 million Veterans impacted by the solutions it has supported.